It all began at the London School of Economics. We'd been running more rigidly structured experiential-learning games there for several years, but were starting to encounter people problems on the delivery side. Our key challenge was to retain (and build!) the interest and engagement of facilitators while delivering on multi-sided requirements and adhering to constraints. So we stepped back and redesigned the session-design process itself, balancing the tensions of 'frame' and 'freedom', in order to align with the underlying needs of all participants and stakeholders.
This new approach combines existing theory and practice in new ways, enabling new results to emerge. Providing the right amount of 'frame' lets the process run quickly, and assures that the necessary governance and feedback loops are complete. When 'freedom' is adequately supported, individual learning is maximised and desirable outcomes occur predictably and reliably.
To our surprise, this meta-design approach didn't just solve our immediate problem at LSE, it has been useful in other environments. In this presentation, I'll discuss the design challenges that we encountered, how they were resolved, the resulting dialogues and experiments, and what remains outstanding. I'll highlight case studies of its use in education environments, startups, and other organisations.
In this session you'll learn how to better:
- Accommodate individuals in a dynamic, asset-based way
- Balance 'freedom' with 'frame' to allow experimentation
- Capture benefits by closing feedback loops
- Design around group dysfunction in your people processes
- Enable robust, repeatable learning
- Foster a culture that supports exploration and innovation
- Grow both the individual and the whole system